Ravel, Dukas, and More

Curtis Symphony Orchestra | November 6, 2022 7:00 p.m.
A Night of French Music

Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the renowned Curtis Symphony Orchestra and rising young stars of the Curtis Opera Theatre in a musical tour of France. Romantic, mysterious, and awe-inspiring like the glow of Paris at night, this delightful program of mischievous magic, childhood fairytales, and operatic jewels celebrates the music of Dukas, Gounod, Debussy, Massenet, and Ravel.

Paul Dukas’s masterful symphonic tone poem, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, has become wildly popular with audiences across the globe since its premiere in 1897. Based on a ballad by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and immortalized through Walt Disney’s groundbreaking animated film Fantasia, this lively work captures the imagination as the spell of an inept magician’s apprentice goes chaotically awry.

This spirited scherzo is followed by popular opera selections from Charles Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Jules Massenet’s romantic tragedy Werther, and two works by master orchestrator Maurice Ravel. That impressionist composer’s playful Mother Goose Suite (Ma Mère L’Oye), a collection of five charming storybook miniatures, and Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2, a ravishing, romantic “choreographic symphony” in three exhilarating parts for orchestra and chorus, bring the evening to a thrilling close.

PAUL DUKAS The Sorcerer's Apprentice
CHARLES GOUNOD Roméo et Juliette (excerpts)
CLAUDE DEBUSSY Pelléas et Mélisande (excerpts)
JULES MASSENET Werther (excerpts)
CHARLES GOUNOD Faust (excerpts)
MAURICE RAVEL Mother Goose Suite
Daphnis et Chloé, Suite No. 2
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  • Yannick Nézet-Séguin is music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain; and in September 2018, began his tenure as music director of the Metropolitan Opera.  Widely recognized for his musicianship, dedication, and charisma, Mr. Nézet-Séguin has established himself as a musical leader of the highest caliber and one of the most exciting talents of his generation. His highly collaborative style, deeply rooted musical curiosity, boundless enthusiasm, and fresh approach to programming have been heralded by audiences and critics alike.

    Mr. Nézet-Séguin has appeared with most of the world’s leading orchestras. He enjoys close collaborations with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He is honorary conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic after serving as its music director from 2008 to 2018; and was principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic from 2008 to 2014. He has appeared repeatedly at the BBC Proms and many European and North American festivals, among them Edinburgh, Grafenegg, Lanaudière, Lucerne, Mostly Mozart, Salzburg, Saratoga, and Vail. He has conducted annually at the Metropolitan Opera since 2009, and has led productions at Teatro alla Scala in Milan; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in London; Netherlands Opera; and the Vienna State Opera. He records for Deutsche Grammophon.

    A native of Montreal, Mr. Nézet-Séguin studied piano, conducting, composition, and chamber music at the Conservatoire de music du Québec. He continued his studies with renowned conductor Carlo Maria Giulini, and also studied choral conducting with Joseph Flummerfelt at Westminster Choir College. His honors include Musical America’s Artist of the Year (2016), the Royal Philharmonic Society Award, Canada’s National Arts Centre Award, and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres du Québec. He holds honorary doctorates from multiple institutions, including the University of Québec in Montreal, Westminster Choir College, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Cur­tis Institute of Music, where he has served on the faculty as mentor conductor since 2013.

  • Acclaimed for its “otherworldly ensemble and professional level of sophistication” (New York Times), the Curtis Symphony Orchestra offers a dynamic showcase of tomorrow’s exceptional young talent. Each year the 100 extraordinary musicians of the orchestra work with internationally renowned conductors, including Osmo Vänskä, Vladimir Jurowski, Marin Alsop, Simon Rattle, Robert Spano, and Yannick Nézet Séguin, who also mentors the early-career conductors who hold Rita E. Hauser Conducting Fellowships. This professional training has enabled Curtis alumni to assume prominent positions in America’s leading orchestras, as well as esteemed orchestral, opera, and chamber ensembles around the world.

  • Through imaginative productions, bold concepts, and absorbing theater, the artists of the Curtis Opera Theatre prepare to become stars of the world stage. The combination of key elements of artistry—music, acting, singing, and costumes—allows these student-artists to create a lasting connection with audiences.

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